SOLV Oregon Coast Clean UP Expands to All Rivers
(Oregon Coast) – The big beach clean up has just expanded beyond the vegetation line.
For the first time in its long history, SOLV’s fall beach cleanup will expand statewide on September 25 to include inland waterways throughout Oregon. Volunteers will pick up trash along both rivers and beaches this year in recognition of recent estimates that 60 to 80 percent of marine litter starts out on land. This newly expanded event is called the SOLV Beach and Riverside Cleanup, and the organization needs volunteers 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on September 25.
Now, instead of coastal towns being the hub activity – like Oceanside, Newport, Gleneden Beach, Waldport or Seaside – the list of meeting spots also includes Riddle, Cascade Locks, Cottage Grove, Eugene, Terrebone, Portland and even Vancouver, Washington.
SOLV said it had received requests from volunteers from around the state who wanted to help with these twice-yearly beach clean ups, but they were not able to get to the Oregon coast. SOLV had numerous river clean up events throughout the state already, so they combined them all into one big statewide scouring of shorelines.
“With more than 160 cleanup and watershed projects scheduled throughout the state, this is a fantastic opportunity for all Oregonians to get involved in their community, and teach the next generation to care for the health of our local watershed and the beaches we all enjoy,” said SOLV Executive Director Melisa McDonald.
Every year in September, SOLV volunteers join more than half-a-million people in 100 countries to remove millions of pounds of trash from beaches and waterways all over the world.
“Removing trash before it flows to the ocean from inland waterways, streets, and storm drains greatly benefits local communities, fish and wildlife,” said Program Coordinator Rachael Pecore. “Wildlife are particularly susceptible to the small bits of plastic trash which upon ingestion can accumulate and lead to starvation.”
Phillip Johnson, Executive Director of CoastWatch and Oregon Shores, said the cleanups could be a matter of life and death for some wildlife.
“We all appreciate the beach more if it isn't covered with litter, but picking up debris is about a lot more than aesthetics,” Johnson said. “Many types of debris can entangle or entrap animals, or it may look like food to them and fill their guts with at best empty filler, and at worst toxins. Cleaning up the shoreline is a matter of environmental responsibility."
Each year thousands of marine mammals, sea birds, turtles and fish are killed after they ingest, swallow, or become entangled in plastic garbage and other types of litter.
The last beach clean up in March saw some 4,200 volunteers hit the Oregon coast to remove an estimated 70,500 pounds of trash from the beaches.
Volunteers reported large amounts of rope and many bottles and glass floats from Asia at multiple beaches up and down the coast, which led some scientists in the area to believe the coast had seen a barrage of junk from the “garbage patch” out in the Pacific.
On a positive note, the Yachats Fire Chief reported back then that for the first time in many years they did not find a single six-pack yoke on the beach, which pose a significant threat to marine wildlife.
Volunteers can find a cleanup project near them at www.solv.org or call 503-844-9571. Volunteers should dress for the weather, bring a reusable container for drinking water, a reusable bag or bucket for collecting trash, and a colander for sifting small pieces of plastic from sand along the beach or river shorelines.
In addition to the Oregon Lottery, sponsors of the SOLV Beach and Riverside Cleanup include Sustaining Sponsors Metro and the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission. The Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation is a Coordinating Sponsor as well as multiple coastal garbage and recycling companies. Major sponsors include AAA of Oregon, Alaskan Brewing Co. & Columbia Distributing, Fred Meyer, The Port of Portland, Portland General Electric, and Wells Fargo. Supporting Sponsors include Chevron Company, Clean Water Services, IBM, and the Oregon Department of State Lands. Additional support is provided by Hawthorn Farm Athletic Club, SOLV Members, and Zipcar.
SOLV was founded in 1969 and was among the first group in the nation to pioneer volunteer beach cleanups. SOLV’s mission is to bring Oregonians together to improve the environment and build a legacy of stewardship.
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